Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The newly unveiled Malaria Free Uganda Fund has embarked on planting mosquito repellent trees to aid the prevention of breeding.
The Fund’s board chairman Kenneth Wycliffe Mugisha of the Rotarian Malaria Partners-Uganda says their activities have started with Arua district this morning and that the plan is to initially plant trees around hospitals, schools and in areas where infection rates are over 33 percent.
Another board member Patrick Bitature, the chairman of Simba Group revealed that they are rallying corporate companies to include in their corporate social responsibility budgets money for creating more awareness about prevention, considering that malaria has the greatest impact on businesses both in terms of reducing workdays and stopping tourists from coming into the country.
He said he has already lobbied the top management of UMEME where he is board chairman to include a malaria message whenever running adverts as part of the malaria-free Uganda initiative. For him, while globally the target for malaria eradication has been set at 2030, Uganda’s target could be met much earlier.
Already, a number of firms including a pharmaceutical companies have pledged to focus on one parish that has the highest number of malaria cases in Northern Uganda to ensure that by the time they leave, there are zero cases. Mugisha says a lot of companies have expressed interest in joining the fund.
At the launch of this fund early in September, the board was given terms of work that included mobilizing resources and undertaking advocacy so that malaria prevention and control becomes a priority across all sectors and providing technical assistance to the team at the ministry.
At the launch event, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said the idea of having this new board was reached after realizing that different entities have been conducting the same malaria control related work. Aceng said then that the ministry resolved that mainstreaming responsibility will remove financial and operational bottlenecks that deter them from achieving set targets for elimination of the disease.